Engage 13 - next button

I am creating several engage pieces using the new Engage13 for an Articulate presentation.  The next button no longer advances to the next slide, but rather just to the next segment of the engage piece.  I have the engage piece set up so that the user can freely move about the interaction themselves. How do I get the previous and next buttons to move to the previous and next slides instead of controling the engage piece?  It is not necessary for the user to see each segment of the engage piece before moving on.  Thanks, Jan

59 Replies
Timothy Condon

I want to echo everything that the other users have said. I am in the process of updating a high-level security-focused training containing multiple interactions that our company has been using for the past several years. Several thousand users must take it each year for compliance purposes, and we face steep fines if we don't do it right. These interactions are killing me. I have a panel of 20 director-level reviewers focusing on the fact that these interactions are broken, and it's destroying  the review/edit cycle, not to mention the deployment of the project.

This bug is making myself and my department look bad (mostly myself), and I have no choice but to blame it all on the new software - which is something I never do. I would venture to say that there are over 100 users of Presenter at my company and I am advising NO ONE to upgrade due to the new issues.

And seriously, don't tell us this bug was "by design" in the new version and that we need to submit feature requests for something that worked in the past. It's like an auto manufacturer telling the owners of a new 2013 car to submit a feature request for something that worked perfectly in my 2009 car. We're not asking for a new feature, we're simply asking for something that is broken to be fixed. We are NOT requesting a new feature.

I know you have nothing to do with this personally, Leslie, but perhaps you can convince your management to acknowledge that this is a bug that your team is actively working to repair. This is what other software companies do when something is broken. It's insulting to tell us to submit feature requests. We've all wasted many hours trying to fix these interactions before learning that the software is broken, so don't ask us to waste even more time by submitting a feature request to report a bug. These are not the same thing. You're on the front line here in this particular forum, so please elevate this to the level that it needs to be elevated and respond accordingly. Because right now your responses in this thread are only making the situation worse.

Thank you for your help and for your attention to this matter.

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks for your thoughts Timothy - I promise, our teams are all aware of how important this has become to our users.

What I can offer you is some explanation/history/possible workaround from our top guru Tom Kuhlmann ( I am simply doing a copy/paste from another thread):

I understand your frustration. Below I offer some background on why the changes were made and a few solutions.

Just a little background.

What makes rapid elearning attractive is that the non-programmer can build courses leveraging PowerPoint's authoring. Of course that means you have some constraints in PowerPoint and you give up some programming control. Which can be the source of frustration when you want to do more than what comes out of the box.

To make up for some of the constraints of PowerPoint we created Engage. You get easy authoring because all you have to do is select a form-based interaction, add your content and hit publish. The drawback is that form-based authoring's simplicity comes with limited programming control, as well. It's designed that way on purpose.

Because Engage is a stand alone application, it has it's own navigation controls.

The original version of Engage had navigation controls that conflicted with the default player controls in Presenter. So when you inserted an Engage interaction you had two different types of players with different navigation. We had a lot of requests asking that we integrate the Engage navigation with the Presenter course player. And that's why we made the change because it's what was frequently requested and confirmed during our beta testing. Of course, as you note, the change doesn't meet everyone's need.

Essentially, the Engage interaction is content created in a separate application. So it has its own player controls and navigation. When you insert it into the PowerPoint slide you have to account for the Engage player settings chosen by the course author.

When creating an Engage interaction you have two choices:

  1. Do you want Engage to have it's own navigation?
  2. Do you want no navigation and only onscreen clicks?

Whichever you choose impacts how the navigation integrates with the player.

Solution

Currently there are three options when inserting the interactions into the PowerPoint slides:

  • Insert Engage with the interaction's navigation controls and the course player's prev/next buttons are assumed by the Engage interaction. This lets you use the prev/next buttons to navigate through the parts of the interaction (and display each element in the menu). In a sense the interaction elements are treated as sub-slides. 
  • Insert Engage with the navigation controls that were disabled in the interaction. Unfortunately that currently overrides the course's player controls and turns off the prev/next buttons because that's how the interaction was designed. Of course that leads to your frustration because you want to have the interactions act as a single slide with only onscreen clicks and still have the default prev/next buttons in the course player. That makes sense and we also submitted a feature request on your behalf.
  • Insert Engage as a web object. Another solution in the short term is to publish the interaction any way you want. Change the name of the interaction.html to index.html and then insert the interaction as a web object. It doesn't take much longer. What you'll get is something similar to the way the interactions used to behave. You also have the means to customize the player color schemes to match your slide and create a more seamless experience.

I created a demo to show how each looks.

http://zizbo.s3.amazonaws.com/engage-nav2/presentation.html

Hopefully that helps.

Again, I don't want to dismiss your frustration because ultimately you want to be successful using the tools and not feel like you have to make a bunch of workarounds. We did submit the request and also made sure that the current product manager is aware of it.

Timothy Condon

@Leslie - I appreciate your prompt and thoughtful response. Tom's explanation is helpful in the sense that it explains the situation clearly. However, it is unfortunate that none of the three options outlined in the response or shown in the demo are as user-friendly as deployed in Studio '09. Going forward, I've decided to stop using Studio and instead will be converting things over to either Storyline or Captivate 8 (for mobile). I shudder at the notion of giving Captivate another shot, but I feel like we have no choice since our customers are asking for mobile features that Captivate can now supposedly deliver. I look forward to what the future holds for Articulate!

Media Dynamics

Strongly agree with all of the complaints.

We have just upgraded to '13 for a training program for a high-profile client and find Engage to be now unusable because of the navigation.

The things that are clickable in the interaction are supposed to be optional, not mandatory for the user, yet they can't leave without "nexting" through all of them.

The workarounds offered are not solutions for us. From reading this whole page it seems clear that though the feature is strongly requested and seems perfectly logical, it has been ignored. Studio '13 was not cheap and seems now a waste of money.

Sorry for the rant, but we really need an update.

Matthew Grose

I need to add my voice here, as well.  In addition to the problems mentioned above, if my learner clicks through every segment of a Circle Diagram, for example, and then clicks "Next", he or she will go to the next [PowerPoint] slide ONLY IF they are have the last circle segment in the sequence selected. Otherwise, they go back to a segment they have already viewed! And the sequence in interaction types like the circle diagram, the labeled panel and others is not obvious to the leaner. This needs to be smarter (like it was with '09) to know that once all options/tabs have been viewed, clicking Next will advance to the next [PowerPoint] slide in the "deck." This is what the learner is expecting. This is proving to be a real headache. 

Debra Newberg

I have the same issue that everyone else is having with the way Engage 13 navigates. It should be treated as a slide in the presentation. There are plenty of other options for having the end user navigate through an interaction. In this new version there is not a way to allow a user to leave the interaction without going through all of the items in the interaction. This really makes Engage useless. One of the major reasons I add an Engage interaction is because I want the user to access items they are interested in and not make them go through all of the items. Is there a plan to provide an update to add afeature that allow a next slide button that leaves the interaction and goes to the next slide in the Articulate presentation?

Tanis Harding

Just to agree, this is a major problem. Is this just a "hope" they will fix, or will it be fixed? I added a feature request, but not sure why it was changed to begin with. I like that in '13 the next and back buttons don't appear at the top of the engage interaction as that was just confusing for the user. But I don't want my users to navigate using next and back. I want them rolling over or clicking - if they want more info. I don't want to force the info on them. And I don't want to remove the next and back buttons.

I wonder if inserting the engage interaction as a web object will work as a possible work around.

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks for your feedback Tanis.

To answer your question as to 'why', you can refer to my previous post, but one thing I will pull out for you is in response to your web object workaround as that is what is suggested:

Solution

Currently there are three options when inserting the interactions into the PowerPoint slides:

  • Insert Engage with the interaction's navigation controls and the course player's prev/next buttons are assumed by the Engage interaction. This lets you use the prev/next buttons to navigate through the parts of the interaction (and display each element in the menu). In a sense the interaction elements are treated as sub-slides.
  • Insert Engage with the navigation controls that were disabled in the interaction. Unfortunately that currently overrides the course's player controls and turns off the prev/next buttons because that's how the interaction was designed. Of course that leads to your frustration because you want to have the interactions act as a single slide with only onscreen clicks and still have the default prev/next buttons in the course player. That makes sense and we also submitted a feature request on your behalf.
  • Insert Engage as a web object. Another solution in the short term is to publish the interaction any way you want. Change the name of the interaction.html to index.html and then insert the interaction as a web object. It doesn't take much longer. What you'll get is something similar to the way the interactions used to behave. You also have the means to customize the player color schemes to match your slide and create a more seamless experience.
Cary Prosser

Not to preach to the choir - but just to help keep this problem visible to the developers at Articulate - I will post my request here to please have this situation corrected ASAP ( I have also put in a feature request).

The situation needs to be fixed - and soon. Would Articulate be willing to make the 09 version of Engage available until the 13 version is corrected?

Best regards, everyone!

Christine Hendrickson

Hi Cary!

I know we've had some discussion on this already, but I did want to stop here for a moment and answer your question regarding the '09 availability.

If you owned Studio '09 before '13 - for example, if you upgraded - you still have access to Studio '09. All you need are your serial numbers for that version. Just keep in mind that Studio '09 and Studio '13 cannot be installed on the same machine at the same time.

Also, Studio '09 doesn't support content in Studio '13. Having said that, however, you can go between the two as much as you'd like. Also, when you upgrade a course from '09 to '13, a backup will automatically save, so you can always return to the original '09 version of the project.

I hope that information helps! If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Best,

Christine

Cary Prosser

Hi, Christine - My current company just bought Articulate Studio 13, based on my request - we didn't have Articulate Studio 09 previously here (but I had used it at another company, so was familiar with it). Would Articulate be able to provide me with an 09 version of Studio to use until Articulate 13 is fixed?

Thanks!

Leslie McKerchie

Hey everyone!

With the release of Update 3 for Articulate Studio '13, you can now control how the Prev and Next buttons behave for Articulate Engage interactions embedded in Articulate Presenter courses. The navigation buttons can either jump to the previous/next step in the interaction or the previous/next slide in the overall presentation. See this article for details.

Cary Prosser

I'm really happy to have Update 3 ... however I just reported something to one of your staff (Jason W) .. .that I'll mention here - just so others know this bug has been reported.

There is now a problem with slides that are Previewed or Published ... The screens look fine in PPT, but the same screens have a bunch of Pink lines (and a few Orange lines) covering the screen information when previewed or published.

Thanks!

Christine Hendrickson

Hi Cary,

Are you able to recreate this in a file so I can test this on my end with Update 3? Or, if you're able to share the original, that'd be fine as well, just need to know if this happens in a specific file or any file you create with the update. It would also help to know if this is happening for files that were created with the previous version, or only brand new files created with Update 3.

If you can, please try sharing an Articulate Package of a project that displays this behavior. I'd be happy to take a look and see if I experience the same issue on my end.

Thanks very much,

Christine

Cary Prosser

Hi, Christine -

The PPT (Office 2010) project file existed before I activated Articulate 13 Update 3. I deleted a bunch of slides that included proprietary information - but in a small version of the file that I turned into a package for you - you'll be able to see several examples of the unwanted lines. Many of the screens have pink and orange lines on them and a few don't. but I don't see any differences on the slides that have the problem.

Note; One of the company colors is Orange - so the fonts that appear in orange - but look OK, are the way they are supposed to be.

Thanks!

Your help is appreciated!!!

Cary

Cary Prosser

Hello all -

This morning I was experimenting with different things to see if it made a difference with the Pink/Orange line problem. Just by chance - I found an adjustment that corrects the slides where there was a problem:

I went to a slide with the Pink/Orange Lines, when Previewed/Published, right clicked the slide and changed the layout from the Master Layout to a Custom Layout that was similar - but with a different Font Style ... I changed the Font from "TW Cent MT Condensed" (as was in the problem slide) to "Franklin Gothic Medium" (as it should be for our current format) - and when previewing/publishing - it now appears without the Pink and Orange lines.

I can use this workaround for now - but I'm not sure what caused the problem to begin with (the original version of the slides as they were - prior to loading Update 3 - didn't have the Pink & Orange lines.

Hopefully, that information will help identify the cause, and develop a correction!